Tuesday, August 31, 2010


For the past week I've been annoyed at a variety of folks, some actively in my life, some not.  I'm annoyed at a superior who lacks knowledge of ridiculously essential information about our company and relies on me to provide it for him.  I'm annoyed at my mother who calls me to mock a friend of mine who was the subject of a scathing article in the newspaper (she doesn't know he's my friend.)  I'm temporarily annoyed at Afina for sending me a detailed email about the state of her pregnancy and shopping around for daycare places and getting teary-eyed over pre-schoolers reading silently in the corner of the room.  Damn it, I want that sensitive, bookish child!  I'm annoyed by a friend of mine who also knows my father and my husband really well.  The last conversation I had with Terrance, I said we should all get together for dinner to catch up and he should give me a call.  That was several weeks ago.  I got a call from Terrance last week.  He left a message saying, "...I've owed you a call for a while now.   Hey, I have a question for you.  Would your company be interested in donating some items for a charity event I'm managing?"  It's taken me a week to move a muscle on this issue given how slighted I feel about this move on his part.

I know that life is far from fair but it's hitting me pretty hard lately.  This concept in my head that I might be the victim of asymptomatic endometriosis makes me lose faith in what I thought my state of health was for the last twenty years.  I'll spare the long, drawn out self-pity session until this diagnosis is confirmed but shouldn't somebody, somewhere in middle school, high school, my ivy l.eague college, a random party, anything mentioned that this affliction exists and stamps out fertility in unsuspecting women???

Since I'm calculating that I have a 50/50 chance of having ovarian endometria that's blocking ovulation, either outcome of surgery is hardly enjoyable.  1) Yes, you have it (and you've had it for a long time, sucker.) 2) No, you don't have it and I don't know why you're not getting pregnant.  I think option two would put me in one of the rarest causes of female infertility, but my mind goes to the rarest, infinitesimally rare possibilities.

Monday, August 30, 2010

A reason to believe

WheelbarrowRider's comment on my last post was very timely.  She asked why I was opposed to laparoscopy. Well, what a difference 48 hours makes.  I went searching for research studies on unexplained infertility and the prevalence of endometriosis in infertility patients and I found something very interesting.  A study completed in 2009 titled:

High prevalence of endometriosis in infertile women with normal ovulation and normospermic partners

Uh oh.  


OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of histologically proven endometriosis in a subset of infertile women.
DESIGN: Retrospective case series with electronic file search and multivariable logistic regression analysis.
SETTING: Tertiary academic fertility center.
PATIENT(S): Two hundred twenty-one infertile women without previous surgical diagnosis for infertility with regular cycles (variation, 21-35 days) whose partners have a normal semen analysis.
INTERVENTION(S): Diagnostic laparoscopy and, if necessary, operative laparoscopy with CO(2) laser excision. MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENT(S): The prevalence of endometriosis and of fertility-reducing nonendometriotic tubal and/or uterine pathology.
RESULT(S): The prevalence of endometriosis was 47% (104/221), including stage I (39%, 41/104), stage II (24%, 25/104), stage III (14%, 15/104), and stage IV (23%, 23/104) endometriosis, and was comparable in patients with (54%, 61/113) and without (40%, 43/108) pelvic pain. The prevalence of fertility-reducing nonendometriotic tubal and/or uterine pathology was 29% in all patients (15% in women with and 40% in women without endometriosis). A multivariate logistic regression model including pain, ultrasound data, age, duration of infertility, and type of fertility was not or not sufficiently reliable for the prediction of endometriosis according to the revised American Fertility Society (rAFS) classifications I-II and rAFS III-IV, respectively.
CONCLUSION(S): Reproductive surgery is indicated in infertile women belonging to the study population, regardless of pain symptoms or transvaginal ultrasound results, since half of them have endometriosis and 40% of those without endometriosis have fertility-reducing pelvic pathology.
I'm not sure if you can call a 21 day cycle "normal" but the results of this study were telling.  Before this weekend, I was thoroughly unconvinced that a woman without painful periods or other pelvic pain could have endometriosis severe enough to prevent conception.  I'm still a tiny bit unconvinced but that's not stopping me from calling Dr. St.igen to schedule the surgery.  Trixie, I'm waiting for a return call.  I'll give her until 11am before I bang down her door. ;)
I'm also not sure I want to do the surgery with her but I'll at least schedule it hopefully for the first week in November to keep her on the hook.  

Friday, August 27, 2010

Open for Business

I had the HSG this morning; my fallopian tubes are open with no obstructions.  At least that's the initial reading from the radiologist who performed the test.  He will look at it closer but he said he didn't see anything abnormal.  As I told the female tech afterwards, this result was my expectation and my fear.  I'm almost officially an unexplained infertile.  I feel almost detached from this, at this point.  I can only worry and get upset so much before I'm exhausted and have to move on.  

As I'm sure many of you reading this have already had a HSG, I'll spare you the play-by-play.  I will say I went into the test as relaxed as I could be and the most I ever felt was high discomfort.  Nothing was painful but I did feel very uncomfortable when the doctor injected more dye to get all the way through the tubes.  The actual test took all of 10 minutes, if that.  They had me turn my hips for a side view which kind of sucked.  The cramping right afterward was quite bad, worse than my regular menstrual cramps.  They offered me water and a cold compress, which I declined since I wasn't sweating at all.  I asked to be able to stay lying down for a while (10 minutes) to let the worst cramps subside and just calm myself down before standing up and getting dressed.

The radiologist was curious why I was seeing a fertility specialist as far away as Sa.n Die.go, so that gave me an opportunity to tell him all about the Creighton Model and NFP.  He seemed genuinely interested and totally clueless about Creighton.  Just trying to get the message out there especially to male doctors who will probably have no use of that knowledge.  

I'm very glad I did the test down in San.ta. Monic.a.  They rebuilt the hospital from the ground up and all the equipment was new, which I'm sure I'll be paying for. :)  The radiologist was very nice and so was the technician.  I tried to keep up the talking to stay relaxed.  It's now 3 hours post procedure and I'm back at work and feeling near normal.    

Ironically, right before I walked into the hospital Trixie called me.  She said they got the ultrasound images and Dr. Stig.en could not see all of my uterus in the images so she wants me to do the hysterosonogram.  When I walked into radiology I asked if this could be done at the same time as the HSG since I brought the order with me but they said no can do.  I really don't think the sonogram is necessary.  I'm just an abnormal normal patient.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

In a nutshell

Yesterday, I got our money back from the returned BCP.  I felt really silly doing that, but I tried to act like I wasn't embarrassed.  We're in the middle of the chairmanship coup d'etat but that should be resolved by Thursday, so hopefully we'll be moving back to getting a good night's sleep.  I'm yawning as I type.  Anyone who is already praying for my pathetic soul (I kid, I kid), could you also send one up for my husband?  He's terribly upset about what's happening and the absolute lameness and jerkish behavior of the other men on the Board.  I feel terrible for me and us as this will mean some changes in our day-to-day routines.  Nothing too big, but a change nonetheless.

On the baby-making front, we talked about the HSG and how the results will show everything's open (my prediction.)  Then the husband said, "Once that's over, treatment's over, right since you said you weren't inclined to do the laparascopy?  And we are not doing IVF."  I was a little miffed about the IVF statement not because I consider it an option for me/us but that I didn't want my husband making declarative statements about my infertility.  Picky, yes.  I want all my options on the table, even ones I've taken off the table. :)

[Husband] - So, what are we doing, are we taking a break?
[Me] - I look at it this way.  You need to have sex to make a baby [most of the time], I want to continue to have a sex-filled marriage.  Do you want to continue having sex with me?
[Husband] - Yeah, I do.

And, in a nutshell, that's where I'm at.  I'll continue popping Fertile CM, and if the mood strikes, we'll do it.  It's not TTC, it's just sex.  That sounds a lot more fun.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Thank You

I've got a lot of kind people to thank for saving me this weekend and today.  To JBTC, she was very concerned that I was thinking about taking BCP, a drastic step in coping with failed TTC.  I read her kind and challenging words (tough love) to me about this issue.  Her support along with more time in prayer this weekend, I decided to lady-up and pull myself together, i.e. not take the BCP.  As a bonus to this situation, my pharmacy agreed to take the medication back for a refund.  Frugal husband will be delighted. ;)

I know Lauren's had a tremendous amount of stress and heartache to endure, but she took the time to write some kind words about me.  I had no idea there were so many Anne fans out there!  And to ACL, we were apparently on the same page yesterday about faking it until you make it.  Even though we're out of the prayer buddy cycle now, she was still one of my prayer intentions "held silently in my heart" at Mass last night.  God bless!

We did actually end up doing the sushi on Saturday, but with a bill of $115, my husband said he didn't want to make this a monthly date. :)  It wasn't so much the sushi that pushed us that high, I think it was the three large Sapporos and the hot saki.  Alcohol and food wasn't doing it for me so my faking it entailed working out for an hour Sunday despite a headache, straightening my hair, putting on more makeup than usual, taking deeper breaths, standing up straighter, and wearing a nice dress to church.  And I put a lot of effort into paying attention to my hubby.  After all that, I felt a lot better about my circumstances.  More on this later, but I think I've been hitting this TTC thing way too hard.     

Friday, August 20, 2010

Under pressure, you and I

My period came at the worst possible time.  My husband is the Chairman of a Board of Direc.tors at a publicly traded company.  Yes, I'm very proud of his position but most of all the work he does on behalf of the company and its shareholders.  He's taken risks to benefit the company that the other directors, who are staid, have never undertaken.  My husband has always done the right thing.  But no good deed ever goes unpunished.

He's been notified that the other directors are taking steps to remove him as Chairman.  Although he'll remain on the board, this is obviously a devastating event that has upset him and me greatly.

At the same time, I've been grappling with my own sad circumstances.  I asked Dr. Liz to write a prescription for a three month BCP.  That's what I was on before we learned NFP, so two and a half years ago.  I can't take CD 1 or 2 anymore.  It breaks my heart.  The cramps, the mood drop, it's too much for me.  I just want four periods a year.  I don't want this anymore.

Everybody and the world called me this morning while running errands.  [I'm grateful, really that people want to talk to me.]  This included my mother.  She, the arch-feminist who helped me at age 9, (I still can't believe this) prepare to debate an adult from Operation Rescue (remember those guys?)  I thought I did a really great job arguing at such a young age.  I was the pro-choice position.  In retrospect I find that a nine year-old should not be participating on any side of that issue.  My mother told me that it took she and my Dad a year and a half to get pregnant, then subsequently had an ectopic pregnancy and a miscarriage.  Then, they went to a diaphragm before having a number of later successful, healthy pregnancies.  She told me that a barrier method might be a better choice to "take the pressure off" rather than a hormone-alteration method.

After that, I headed into the parish office to to purchase a mass intention for "infertile couples."  Since they never talk about it, I felt like bringing up the issue.  As a former Protestant paying for something at Church feels very weird, but I happily paid the fee.  Before I went to pick up the BCP, the ladies in the office encouraged me to spend some time praying in Mary's garden.  I did.  We talked about St. Gianna.  And felt I could gather some strength to keep the faith.

But as a convert, I'm not quite there yet.

It's been hard.  With both my husband and I at our lowest, we weren't the best support for one another.  And now I've been given a break for the night.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thwarted again

Well, ladies and maybe a gentlemen or two....  hey, I'm speeding towards official infertility status.  This sounds really exciting.  I'm almost giddy over the thought of getting to a year.  Just two more cycles to go.

I just got my period.  I felt some very light flutter cramps yesterday so I'm not at all surprised.  However, we cannot do sushi tonight since we already ate and my husband is going to a Dod.ger game tomorrow night so the celebratory "Hey, We're Childless" dinner can't happen until Saturday.  Seriously, what the f*ck is wrong with my body????

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I heard it through the grapevine...

I read on the internet somewhere that one of the good things about unexplained infertility is that the rates of pregnancy are higher for this group.  You just don't have any idea of when it's going to happen.  Inevitably when P+10+ comes around, I'm anxious that "this time it might be different."  If I have the energy today, I might pop into a drug store and get a HPT.  Wasted money maybe but I think about all the savings I've accumulated by not getting pregnant 10 months ago.  What's $10???  At least I'll know and won't have to stress about the unknown.

I told my husband a couple weeks ago that we should institute a "We're Not Pregnant Again" ritual.  I suggested he takes me on a sushi date on every CD 1.  What's a better way to celebrate not being pregnant by partaking in activities pregnant women should not do?  I [heart] sushi.  Yum.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Anne, again.

I'm feeling like Anne of Green Gables again.  I've always had a dreamy, expectant disposition.  And of course, I was disappointed a lot as a result of that disposition.  My first boss told me to lower those expectations and I, magically wouldn't experience the sad let-down.  Well, you can't change so easily.  Another thing I've always done a lot is cry.  Cry, cry, cry.  I was reading the archives of my previous blog and I noted somewhere that I went several months one year without ever crying.  I've cried more in the last three years than in the previous 10, I'm pretty sure.

Today my high expectations betrayed me and I was on the verge of crying but somehow, I didn't.  Go figure.

I feel really sorry that several ladies are going through terrible disappointment right now.  I was thinking about sweet Lauren not being able to bring home a child she would love totally and parent responsibly.  What angers me about our society is that government has effectively disincentivized (I know that's not a word) single mothers from adopting their children out to people that are best able to love them.  Our welfare system doles out more money for more kids and funds thousands if not hundreds of thousands of government workers to monitor children known to be in dangerous situations.  I think it's a disgrace of government waste.

I'm about reaching the end of my diagnostic testing.  I called the big, fancy hospital to schedule the HSG and hysterosonogram but they wanted me to wait until my period starts.  It's a fun thought; if I'm on schedule it should happen on Saturday or Sunday.  The tech also said those are partly redundant procedures and she asked me why I was having this done.  Um, suspected endometriosis.  No, it's infertility dang it.  I hate that insurance companies effectively force this song and dance routine.  The tech said they'd do the HSG first and if the doctor wanted to do the sonogram later then they'd do it.  Sounds prudent to me.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Prayer Buddies!!!

I'm so appreciative of my two prayer buddies, Lauren at "Magnify the LORD with me" who prayed for me and A Complicated Life, whom I prayed for.  And really, the prayer buddy system was really about being connected to all the ladies in the chain.  My prayer buddy made Mass and Adoration Chapel more meaningful for me.  I loved checking out her blog and seeing her goings-on. She was almost always on my mind throughout the day.  Thank you for letting me pray for you!!!

And to dear Lauren, the strength she's showing through betrayal and hurt is grace personified.  Our dear Lord knows just how much disappointment and hurt we've all gone through and I know for certain He is faithful.  I know you're hurting Lauren, continue to trust, God will come through for you!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Taking it down a notch

I cancelled the RE appointment for next week.  Other than that, I didn't do much infertility-related activity today. It felt good.  Freeing, in a way.  Maybe that's because I'm seven days into the 2ww, I hold out some hope that "it's gonna happen this time, doggone it!"  However, we did nothing different this cycle and it's likely that the u/s jelly acted as a spermicide.  [How freakishly obsessed am I?]

So, I threw my worries to God and ordered some nail polish.  That's it, up there.  It's called "Shocking."  I rarely paint my nails, almost never get a professional manicure, but I've been pretty good about keeping my nails in shape the last two weeks.  Sadly, the polish will not arrive until next week.  Just in time for Aunt Flo.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Blogging in real time

I just called Dr. Stig.en's office.

[Me] - Hi, I haven't heard from Trixie.
[Recep.] - OK, hold on.

I've now been on hold for 10:20 minutes.  Why is getting an HSG prescription like pulling teeth?  I'm not asking for a m.ethadone.

UPDATE:  I was on hold for exactly 18 minutes until I hung up.  I guess I kept waiting just to see how long I could last.  Called back and got Trixie within 20 seconds but after saying my name, she (accidently?) hung up on me.  I called back and Trixie answered.  I asked her why the HSG prescrpt hadn't been faxed to me and she claimed she had sent it.  No, I didn't get it.  She said she'd fax it again.

Trixie also said Dr. St.igen got my ultrasound results and she says it's normal.  I told Trixie I don't remember sending the office my u/s results but she swore I did.  After the phone call, I looked at my email and I have no record of sending the results to them.  Did they get me confused with another patient?  Likely given their track record.  I asked if the doctor would be interested in seeing the images.  Sure, was the reply.  I'm on the fence on sending them one of two copies.  Blah....

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fertile CM works?

After being diagnosed with EGAD!, limited mucus cycles, I started taking B-6 600 mg every day.  I also tried Mucinex for one cycle but it killed my CM so I never tried it again.  This cycle, at the recommendation of Dr. St.igen I started using Fertile CM around CD 5.  Much to my surprise, I did have a full six days of fertile CM!  Great!  It was never all day, but I thought this was progress.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Balance

As most infertiles know, America's insurance companies generally do not look kindly upon us.  Lots of procedures related to the condition are not covered and in a world of other necessary expenses, it can be hard to justify paying outright for these medical procedures.

Up until now, I've been able to get away with an "ovarian dysfunction" diagnosis for the blood draws and testing.  I have not received the ultrasound cost statement but I think that will also be covered.  I hope.  However, as I plan to move into things that clearly look like infertility testing to me, i.e. HSG, and an ultrasound series, I'm trying to estimate costs and hedge my bets.

Although I don't know what the HSG and hysterosonogram will cost, I've been able to justify it to myself at least.  This is a basic test, let's go for it.  I'd only have to take a half-day off work.  The ultrasound series and possible surgery are much more difficult for me to justify.

First, I absolutely cannot do the series with Dr. Sti.gen.  She's 2 1/2 hours away, at least and I'd need to take several if not many days off from work and stay in a hotel to get that done.  Nevermind my grandmother lives 20 minutes from Dr. Stig.en's office, she's the last person in the world I would want to know that I'm infertile. Understanding and acceptance were never grandmother's gifts.  I'm not sure if anyone local (within 10 minutes of my work) would know how to do an u/s series.  I guess I could call the radiology dept. and ask????

Two, I'm not in a place where I'm ready to go under the laser.  If I even suspected or had some proof of endo or was in pain, I'd do it no question.  However, after the ultrasound, I'm more convinced that this is not my problem.

Third, I still have the appointment with the RE scheduled for next week.  I've gone back and forth (much like I did with the first appt. with Dr. De.lgado) as to whether I should cancel or keep it.  What is this lady going to tell me that I don't already know or other doctors have/have not told me?  I suspect it will be $475 down the drain.  There are only so many tests to get done and I'm half way through those.

Although I once hated the idea of taking an ovulation inducing drug before knowing if I had a problem with that as evidenced by u/s series results, I'm very seriously thinking about calling Dr. DoucheBag and have him prescribed some Clomid.  He'd said early this year that if I had a progesterone deficiency, he'd not do HRT but give me Clomid.  Even a lay person much like myself knows that low progesterone does not equal "ovulation stimulant."

But I'm starting to look at Dr. Douche as a means to an end.  I don't have to like him.  He just needs to give me what I want at a price I can afford.  What could be the harm in 100mg of Clomid for a couple months post HSG, of course?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Random ideas

  1. The husband and I were laying in bed Saturday morning doing a review of our fertility situation.  Remembering back to past solvable problems in our lives, we had a eureka moment.  When solving problems, at first we thought there must be big, substantial reasons for the problem.  However, after analysis, most problems were the result of very small errors.  More on that.
  2. Karen finally called me this weekend!  She was very sweet.  She said she received my hormone chart but it was hard to read in black and white.  I didn't tell her that I definitely emailed that chart IN COLOR but Eva must have printed it in black.  Turns out my local NFP instructor has fallen off the face of the earth and won't return Karen's calls.  She hadn't returned my calls either in the last three months.  So, the local NFP teacher has been dropped from the program.  Karen told me looking at the chart she made that I probably have low progesterone since my post-peak progesterone levels are lower than my pre-peak estrogen curve.  That's not the case.  I didn't want to knock her off her horse.  And I didn't tell her I have already spoken with Dr. S.tigen.
  3. In the last year, ever so often I go back to the Creighton manual hoping I'll find something that will shed light on our situation that I might have missed.  And this time, I did!  For infertility patients, Dr. Hi.lgers recommends abstaining from sex until before fertile CM appears.  You do this for two reasons.  One, you're stressed out about performing during the fertile time so you want to have time to relax and build up desire.  Two, you're trying to build up sperm count.
  4. So, I looked back at my charts for the last ten months, and I floored to discover I'd been depleting supplies.  For eight of ten months, we'd averaged two intimate encounters within 72 hours before the first 10 KL appeared.  Are we overdoing it?   

Friday, August 6, 2010

Irrational Hope (but with Faith)

[The roses are just for color. :)]  Despite nine unsuccessful attempts, try no. 10 still gets me excited.  My secret plan was to renew the marriage covenant as soon as I saw 10 KL or CKL.  That happened last night and so we did manage to "BD" (I did just have to googl.e that (why did I put a period in that word??) but I'd call it far from an experience I'd feel good about.  TTC is getting too stressful for us.  If this one doesn't work, I'm going on a sabbatical for two months.

I did buy a digital OPK this time.  I used it for the first time this morning resulting in, hey, a happy face.  Something I can feel good about.  In order to take the pressure off, I'm not going to try to BD again this month.

In testing news:  I got the u/s results this morning in the form of a radiologist report and the images on CD.  My computer automatically loaded this crazy image viewing software which I'd never seen.  I was a little disappointed the images weren't in a format I could email to Dr. Sti.gen.  Since Dr. Delga.do ordered the test, the report went to his office.

The result is that the ultrasound was normal.  I even took a stab at interpreting the images and they did look pretty normal to me.  But, who am I other than a internet researcher?  I just called Eva at Dr. Delga.do's and asked her if 1)she received the fax this morning? 2)why hasn't Karen (the Creighton chart expert galore) called me after a week and a half? and 3)that I'd like to get a call this afternoon or Monday with confirmation of receipt of the u/s report and a phone appointment with Dr. D to talk about all the test results.

I am absolutely determined to get the HSG/hysterosonogram done in L..A.. by the 31st of August.  Then move on to the follicular u/s series a week and a half later.


My heroine is pregnant with twins!!!!

I really hate to overuse exclamation points but I'm just leaping with excitement!  Crown Princess Mary of Denmark will deliver two babies in January 2011.  This makes my day.  Now if I can just jump on that bandwagon, that'd be super!

Royal couple expecting twins

Amalienborg, 6 August 2010 
Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince and Crown Princess have the great pleasure to announce that the Crown Princess are expecting twins.
The birth is expected to take place at Rigshospitalet during the month of January 2011th
Lene Balleby

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Marriage Rehab

I have (or will today) post a stand-alone page on my views of infertility in the context of a Catholic marriage.  I'm sure this could also be a view on Christian marriage, I can't be too sure about that because I was a confirmed Catholic when I got married.

Just into our second year of marriage, I asked my husband to go to Retrouvaille to help our marriage.  I was really struggling adapting to being married.  My expectations of what my husband should be doing or how he should be treating me were not the reality.  We were learning in a very intimate way what the other person's likes and dislikes were and sometimes these attitudes were diametrically opposed.  And this was causing me acute stress and pain.  Our fights were becoming more intense and I knew I couldn't keep living at such an intense level so often.  I was becoming depressed and thinking often about divorce which depressed me even more.

Our home parish does not advertise or talk about Retrouvaille which I think is a huge disservice to the parishioners but more on that another day.  Two married men in my RCIA class had talked to the group about it.  They described it as a weekend retreat for married couples that their wives had asked them to attend.  Tellingly, they said, "...but my marriage wasn't that bad."  Then I knew Retrouvaille was for couples that had it bad.  [Not necessarily, see below.]

The weekend is definitely NOT a retreat.  After you register, they tell you it's a working weekend.  And you work all weekend long.  From Friday evening to Sunday night, you never think or feel like you got enough sleep.  You spend all your time learning about the presenting couples and what their problems were, what a good marriage looks like, and you start to learn the deepest feelings of your spouse.  There are tissue boxes under every chair and nearly everybody cries at some point.  Even a lot of the men.

I can honestly say that what we learned in Retrouvaille has helped my husband and I be sensitive to one another's needs and helped me better understand what a Christian marriage looks like.  I feel very, very blessed that the Catholic church and the Pope support Retrouvaille and help thousands of couples stay together every year.  Retreats happen all over the world!

I'm posting my story because I want more people to know they have options, too.  And remember, you don't have to get to a really low point before it's worth it to attend Retrouvaille.  It can help any married Christian understand one another and begin to build a better marriage.    

Step 2: Complete

I had the pelvic & transvaginal ultrasound done this morning.  Downing 32 oz. of water within 30 minutes wasn't as gross as I thought.  Actually complying with those instructions won me huge points at the lab.  They said most people don't drink that much liquid, lie about it, but the tech can always tell.

I had it done at the same hospital where the blood draws were done.  The registration staff still remembered me which is always a good sign.  As all you pregnant ladies know, there's not much to the pelvic ultrasound although with a full bladder it's kind of uncomfortable.  The only time the transvaginal was annoying was when the tech (she looked just like me which I found interesting) angled the wand at such a high angle that it was pushing down on my cervix and up on my pubic bone.  That hurt.

I knew she wasn't supposed to interpret the images but she did tell me what structures were which.  Her demeanor seemed a little off which worried me thinking she'd seen something abnormal but I'd never met her before so didn't know if that was her normal.  The radiologist is supposed to analyze the images today and I'll get the results tomorrow (best case.)  It's going to Dr. Del.gado's office who has not called me back from the last time when I emailed them my copies of the blood test results and my homemade interpretive graph.  I'm better off getting the results myself and sending to the doctor.

Since today is CD 12 I'm hoping they'll see some signs of impending ovulation. Who knows if they'll even look for that although the tech did ask the first day of my cycle.  BTW, I've gone back to charting.  ;)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


With my twenties blog, I used to write cryptic subject lines.  Now they are terribly literal.

Tired of shoot 'em up movies, I placed in the Netfli.x queue the first two seasons of Sex and the City.  I didn't plan to have my husband take an interest but he's been in the living room for every episode so far.  We're on Season 1, Disc 2.  He gets his gin and tonic and pays close attention.  Last night's episode, the Baby Shower was about former party girl Lainey's baby shower in Connecticut.  Samantha's answer to that party was to throw a "I'm Not Having a Baby" shower with extra vodka all round.  I thought that might be a good idea for us, but then I realized it wouldn't work unless I was single, and of course, living in Manhattan.  Without that, that kind of party is downright tacky.  One can dream.

Last night before bed, I was seized with worry.  That's my faithless brain taking over.  What if, after the tests are through, they find something terrible, that can't be repaired?  Do the ultrasound techs know what they're doing?  How unfair would it be to find something that's causing my infertility that's a result of something I did and none of my doctors caught it?  I really don't want to go through these procedures and surgeries.

And like little kid, I get into this, "this is NOT fair" mindset.  I know it's a sign of grace and maturity to not get bogged down in the fairness issue but that's the place I go sometimes.  For me, I get caught up in this fantasy that I've always been fine.  I've always been healthy.  There's never been anything wrong with me.  Perhaps this is a stubborn, self-protection mechanism to make me feel better about myself and not be affected deeply by adversity.  Who cares?  It's a stupid way to think.

My first boyfriend was writing a movie script and bought Anne Lam.ott's book "B.ird by B.ird" to get some writing ideas.  I didn't read the book but managed to get through the back cover.
Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write.  It was due the next day.  We were out at our family cabin in Salinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead.  Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, "Bird by bird, buddy.  Just take it bird by bird."

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Game Plan

I am thrilled by Blondie's news!  It gives hope to me and I suspect others who are still waiting for their miracle.  I love to see success and triumph for those who've prayed and worked so hard to overcome their struggles and achieve their dreams.

After talking it out with my husband last night, I've got a tentative game plan.  I'm organizing my testing based on cost.  I live in an exurb of the second largest city in America.  What my town lacks in culture, it makes up in a lower cost of living.  Many services and products are cheaper here than they would be in L..A..  I'm afforded the flexibility of getting treatment done there or at home, depending on how I want to balance the quality of care versus cost.

Because more invasive testing like the hysterosonogram makes me think I should head to the big city, I'll do that in L...A...  The pelvic u/s is happening at my local hospital on Thursday.  And I'll be calling Dr. Sti.gen's office to get an order for an standard HSG which I'll likely do at home.  It might be convenient to combine the HSG and sonogram on the same day.  I'll figure that out.  Another thing I've been emailing MLM about, I think doing the follicular u/s series before a laparoscopy is the best thing for me.  Dr. Stige.n said she'd have to do that herself since she "knows what she's looking for."  That will be significantly harder for us to do with her.  She's 2 1/2 hours away which would require a week off of work and staying by her office.

My husband and I already have two holidays scheduled in October (N..Y.C) and November (the beach) for a week at a time, so this is not the best time for prolonged testing.  Don't feel sorry for me! :)  I'm so blessed and happy to be able to take these trips.

At this point in time, this is my plan.
  1. Pelvic u/s - this cycle (August)
  2. HSG and sonogram - next cycle (late Aug./early Sept.)
After those tests, if something's wrong, I'll work out treatment.  I guess I'm getting my mojo back.  Reading Mother Teresa in Adoration Chapel last night helps with that.   

Monday, August 2, 2010


It took the weekend to calm down.  I did not update my chart on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday and I felt pretty liberated.  However, I did the Creighton thing in the ladies room this morning.  That sounds illicit.  Fun!

I also called to make an appointment with the RE and infertility specialist connected to a rather renowned practice in L..A.

[RE Receptionist]  Did you know that our office doesn't accept insurance?
[Me]  Yeah, I know from a referral to Dr. P.ark.er last year.  How does that work?
[RE Recept.]  You pay for the office visit at the time of service and we give you a form you can send to your insurance.
[Me]  How much will the charge be?
[RE Recept.]  Between $250 and $475.
[Me]  Which is it?
[RE Recept.]  Well, infertility is her specialty so it will be closer to the 450 number.  Do you still want to make an appointment?
[Me]  Sure.
Then, we nail down a time with some difficulty.  Apparently, the doctor only sees infertiles in the mornings.
[RE Recept.]  OK, we'll see you then.
[Me]  Wait, do you have any forms you can send me beforehand so I can have them filled out when I arrive?
[RE Recept.]  If you get here 15 minutes before, you'll have plenty of time to fill out the forms.
[Me]  I'll have all my related medical records copied to give to the doctor.
[RE Recept.]  (Not seeming to care)  OK, see you.

After I hung up, the bell in my head rang.  Wouldn't the doctor want to know what tests I had already done?  Perhaps so we could rule some theories out?  And I thought, no.  They think I'm green.  They think I'm stupid.  They think I'm uneducated about my options.  They think I don't already know that the IVF success rate is barely 12% per cycle.

I met my husband for lunch and told him how much the visit would cost and I'm thinking about cancelling (I do this flip/flop thing a lot.)  I told him that the doctor wasn't going to tell me things I didn't already know.  And she recommend the same tests I already have prescriptions for.  It would be a waste of money.  Money thrown at a doctor so she can buy a new handbag.  So, I've already earmarked that money for another purpose which will be way more fun! Motorcy.cle riding lessons!!!!!!